Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats


look at Cordelia. While she watched her husband, her face
was pale, but composed. But something else, certainly, some
other expression, a smile, perhaps, had been there on her
face; and had fled even as he turned to surprise it.

For three days the case moved without taking on definition.
Only on the first day, when the jury was being impanelled,
had issues taken on any form. But Wilkins, Mr. Munn
thought, seemed satisfied enough about the jury. He had
not used his last challenge. He acted as if he had put one
over. Mr. Munn studied the men in the jury box. He
knew some of them. Some of them, he was sure, would like
to see Doctor MacDonald catch it, guilty or not as a matter
of fact, just because he was in the Association. But Wilkins
seemed satisfied. There must be a couple on the jury who,
Wilkins thought, could hold out against anything short of
an absolute identification. And maybe against that. Mr.
Munn tried to figure out who they were, but gave it up.
Wilkins was not telling all he knew.

But after the jury was impanelled, things slacked off.
Witness followed witness, each one adding some little detail
to the picture of the raid on Bardsville. Officials of the Alta
Company, and of the other companies, stood in the box, and
recited, to the last penny, the costs of the warehouses that
had been destroyed, and the quantity and value of the
tobacco that those warehouses had contained. That was what
it had been, to them, not a picture of men moving in the
darkness, and of the flames standing over the roofs, but the
sums which each hi turn, standing in the box, read from a
paper in his hand. A constable told how he had been sitting
in the office and how masked men, with drawn pistols had
come in and tied him to a chair. They had brought in two
other men, watchmen, and tied them up too. The masked
men had stood around, the constable said, making jokes and
chewing tobacco. "They said they just tied us up for our
own good," the constable said, somewhat sullenly, "so we
wouldn't git in no trouble." The masked men, he added,
had had some trouble with their masks when they tried to